Application processing times

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"How long will it take to get data?" is a common question that is asked of Population Data BC (PopData). There is no simple answer to this question as it depends on many factors.

PopData has been working with BC Data Stewards to reduce wait times by:

  • Developing strong agreements, policies and frameworks clarifying the roles and processes involved in application receipt and approval
  • Moving the coordination and intake of applications to PopData so that there is a single hub of communications
  • Providing researchers with technical support in defining study populations
  • Developing policies and support systems to aid researchers in the completion of DARs prior to submission

Applications requesting Ministry of Health data

In October 2011, the Ministry of Health implemented a new process to streamline data application reviews and approvals.

Projects using PopData holdings only and meeting certain requirements will have a total application to approval timeline of four months upon being submitted to the Ministry by PopData on behalf of the applicant.  

In order to support this new approach, the Ministry is committed to a “Criteria Check” within three weeks of PopData submitting a complete Data Access Request (DAR) application to the Ministry. During this check, the Ministry’s Research Data Access Services team will review and assign a category to the application, assign a project number, and seek any needed clarifications on documentation and/or rationales provided.  If applications cannot be processed or are deemed incomplete, they will be returned to PopData to work with the applicant to meet Ministry requirements.

Another key part of the new process is the assignment of projects to categories that reflect levels of time and resourcing for the Ministry.

Category A

  • Projects in the “A” category are those that request data which are already held in-house at Population Data BC and the cohort is defined by Ministry data only.

All ‘A’ designated applications will be fully reviewed and brought for Chief Data Steward (CDS) consideration for approval within three months of being assigned a project number, on the condition that no modifications have been made post submission to the Ministry.

Category B

  • Projects in the “B” category are those that request data which are already held in-house at Population Data BC and agreements are in-place for non-MoH-defining cohorts.

All ‘B’ designated applications will be fully reviewed and brought for Chief Data Steward (CDS) consideration for approval within three months of receipt of  approval from non-Ministry data defining cohort provider, on the condition that no modifications have been made after cohort defining approval.

Category C

  • Projects in the “C” category are those that request both data held in-house at Population Data BC, and data which are external to Population Data BC and cohort defining external data request approvals and agreements are in place.

All ‘C’ designated applications will be fully reviewed and brought for Chief Data Steward (CDS) consideration for approval within three months of receipt of approval from all external data providers and all non-MoH data defining cohort providers, on the condition that no modifications have been made after these approvals have been issued.

Categories D and E

  • Projects in the “D” category are those that request both data held in-house at Population Data BC, and data which are external to Population Data BC, but for which not all external data steward approvals are in place.
  • Projects in the “E” category are those that are more complex or those requesting data which are external to Population Data BC and for which external approvals are not yet in place.

Projects designated under ‘D’ and ‘E’ categories will be reviewed, but do not have guaranteed full review timelines given the contingency upon external agreements and approvals and additional resources.

See also: Examples of recent application processing times
See also: Guide to reducing application processing delays
 


Page last revised: August 29, 2017